It’s impossible to say with certainty whether Manny Pacquiao will win or lose his November showdown against Brandon Rios, but it’s not particularly difficult to figure out how their fight will end. If Pacquiao, currently a 3-to-1 favorite, ends up prevailing, it will be by way of decision. If Rios emerges victorious, it will be via knockout.
Despite the fact that 38 of Pacquiao’s career victories came by way of KO, he hasn’t actually recorded one in four years. Part of that is due to the fact that, when he was in his prime, the Filipino champ literally made his opponents run from him. They didn’t want to be anywhere within arm’s length, because if they were, they’d sustain the sort of injuries Miguel Cotto walked away with.
However, over the past year, particularly in the case of the Timothy Bradley match, Pacquiao hasn’t recorded a KO because he can’t. Bradley was hobbled and practically begging to get put out of his misery – the former eight-division champ just didn’t have it in him.
Rios is one of the toughest boxers in the game today. While his style is a bit basic for some fans, there is no getting around the fact that it works. The 27-year-old utilizes his iron chin in a never-move-backwards approach that wears out his foes and always puts him in great position to earn a knockout. Because his method is predicated on him move forward at all times, though, he is often susceptible to being outpointed. It just so happened that, until he took on Mike Alvarado for a second time, nobody was able to exploit that weakness.
If Pacquiao wins this match, it will be because he does everything he did in the Juan Manuel Marquez fight – sans walking into a perfectly-timed counter. There is zero chance that he’ll end the match early, however, it’s very possible that he could walk away with a unanimous decision. At the same time, Rios could easily end up knocking Pacquiao out. Freddie Roach’s fighters practically invite the early finish. That being said, there is no way he’ll be able to outpoint Pacquiao. If it goes to the judges, the Filipino star will walk away the winner.